Paul is Introduced to Rome!
1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh 4 and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, 5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, 6 including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,
7 To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Introductory Matters
- Organization of Romans
Three clear major sections of the body of the letter.
Conclusion: Chapter 16
- Chapters 1:16-8:39 All about the gospel, which is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes!
Paul’s letters often are divided into information and application. What we need to know and what we need to do. The first eleven chapters of Romans are all about information! Amazingly, there is one direct command to obey in the first eleven chapters!
- Chapters 9-11 deal with the nation of Israel directly and the transition from Old to New Covenant
- Chapters 12-15 are the instructions about how we are to live as followers of Jesus Christ.
- Elements of Paul’s introductions
Paul’s letters have some standard qualities relating to form. Having said that, they are not all the same. His introductions have a road map to follow so that we do not get ahead of ourselves in establishing his purpose in writing.
Address: From, verse 1 to, verse 7
Salutation: Grace and Peace to you from God verse 7
Typically Paul speaks of things he is grateful for in the lives of those he is writing to. Verse 8
Often Paul writes a prayer for them. Verse 9-10
And Paul often meanders into theological exposition (this is especially prominent in Romans and Ephesians)
The end of the introduction here is verse 15. In Ephesians it is all of chapter 1!
Our entire passage today is one sentence! Thanks Paul!! Lol.
- Grace and peace to you!
God gives grace that we might have peace! Grace is free to the one that receives it and is costly to the one that gives it. Peace is what we need to have abundant life. It is peace with God, others, myself and the physical world.
We give grace to others in order that they might have peace!
We give grace when we forgive, when we encourage, when we serve, when we give, when we love etc.
Grace and peace through you to others! To whom? To your spouse. To your children. To your siblings. To your parents. To your co-workers. To your bosses. To your friends. To all that you meet in our culture!
Great men and women often struggle in these areas. When life becomes more about my desires, my “needs” as it were, then those other relationships are at risk. When Jesus was wrung out by His service to others, He would get alone and pray. During His times of prayer He connected to God, to His kingdom and will! Often He prayed for long periods of time.
- After the death of John the Baptist, and associated with the feeding of the 5,000. He received comfort and strength of will.
- Before the choosing of the twelve Apostles. He received wisdom and patience.
- In the Garden of Gethsemane. He received comfort and strength of will.
Be a giver of grace!!!
Here in Paul’s introduction to Romans, Paul describes himself. And this is an interesting look into someone who obviously has a healthy relationship with God and how it impacts his self-image.
- Paul Describes Himself
- Servant of Jesus Christ: Yoked with Christ!!
17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
23 And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. 24 So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, those having seizures, and paralytics, and he healed them. 25 And great crowds followed him from Galilee and the Decapolis, and from Jerusalem and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan.
Context of people who do not repent at Jesus’ teaching and ministry.
Matthew 11: 25 At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; 26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
3 Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. 4 And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” 5 And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 6 But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.”
10 Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” 11 And the Lord said to him, “Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, 12 and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.”
- Apostle of Jesus Christ
Apostle: One sent out.
Sent to the Gentiles Romans 11:13-14
13 Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry 14 in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them.
Acts 13: 1 Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.
4 So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus.
Acts 9: 15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” 17 So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
The purpose of Paul’s apostleship, and therefore, the purpose of all of His ministry, therefore, the purpose of this book and the goal for your life!
- The obedience of faith
5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations,
How are you saved? By God’s grace: Jesus died for your personal sins. He is presented as your personal sacrifice. When does that grace get applied to you? You receive God’s grace by faith, not by working, earning or deserving it. You do not deserve it!
Why are you saved? To do good works which God has prepared before you even get to them! Say to God: “What are the good works that you have for me to do today?” Those good works are the obedience that comes from your faith in Christ.
For the sake of His name! So that God’s character will be seen in human form. First, in Christ, then in us as the body of Christ.
Among all the nations! God wants all tribes, tongues and nations to see His character in His people and know the opportunity for life that is afforded them in following Jesus Christ.
At the end of verse one Paul mentions the gospel of God (good news of God) This is what Paul knows and is sharing to impact people’s lives! In any event, Paul cannot mention the good news from God even in passing, without going into greater depth. This is why this seven verse passage is one sentence!
III. The Good News about Jesus Christ
Reasons to pursue the obedience that comes from faith in Jesus:
the gospel of God, 2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures,
3 concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh 4 and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,
- Old Testament Prophecy tells us about Jesus
Who is Jesus? He is the Servant of God in Isaiah. He is the Son of Man from Daniel. He is the Seed of the Woman, Abraham’s ram from Genesis. He is the Passover Lamb, Moses’ snake on a pole, the rock that gave water and the manna every day. The colors in the tabernacle are about him, the lampstand, the altar of incense, the sacrifice itself and on and on!
It took me thirty seconds to come up with these, and there are probably 100 plus pictures of Jesus and His ministry in the Old Covenant.
Jeremiah 31: 31 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. 33 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
Joel 2: 28 “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions.
29 Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit.
Isaiah 53 the Servant who Suffers and Saves. All we like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way, but God has laid the iniquity of us all on Him!
Psalms 22 My God My God why have You forsaken me?
But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people.
7 All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads.
8 “He trusts in the Lord,” they say, “let the Lord rescue him.
Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.”
16 Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me;
they pierce my hands and my feet.
17 All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me.
18 They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.
- Son of David Son of God
Fulfillment of the Old Covenant, establishing the New Covenant
Jesus is the God man: A human purpose. A divine purpose
The Trinitarian nature of God is here: The Economic Trinity! How God’s persons function in salvation is much clearer than how God is actually described. So, rather than describing God in detail, Paul is telling us how to be connected to God, what to expect of God.
There is a Spirit of holiness. The Holy Spirit, the separate Spirit. God’s Spirit. Not a force, but a person, not embodied, but capable of being in all of us.
God the Father: Creator and Judge.
Jesus the Son: Savior, Messiah, the Way maker for sinful man.
The Holy Spirit: the power of God to obey God’s instruction and the source of life no matter the circumstances. The Holy Spirit is Emmanuel for our generation!
- Jesus Christ is our Lord
He has given us grace and spiritual vocation (purpose).
We are servants. We are the bearer of His image! We are yoked with Jesus Christ, led by Him in all of our service.
We are bringing about the obedience that comes from faith (foreshadowing the coming complaints)
The obedience that comes from faith glorifies the person, work and character of Jesus Christ, the son of God
You are called to belong to Jesus also!